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How to Clean an Iron

A Quick and Easy Method That Shows How to Clean an Iron Effectively

Ever noticed, that over a period of time your clothes aren't as crisp when ironed, as they used to be? One reason could be that the equipment hasn't been cleaned in a long time.
HomeQuicks Staff
Last Updated: Dec 10, 2017
Iron on table
Many of us imagine cleaning to be a herculean task. Perhaps, cleaning an iron is something we've never thought of. What we don't know is, that an iron that hasn't been cleaned in a while, starts collecting dirt and grime. Sometimes, this dirt and grime sticks on to the clothes, and leaves behind stains on them. As a result, the clothes do not have the same freshness as they did when the iron was new.

It is essential to know how to clean an iron so that the freshness of our clothes is maintained. What is required for this process is available in our very own kitchen. With a little effort, your equipment can be as fresh as new.

The Need For a Clean Iron
Several things may affect the efficacy of the iron, such as gunk stuck in the steam vents, scorch marks on the base, or the remnants of burnt fabric. These afflictions will cause it to underperform, not allowing you to look your 'very best' at all times. The following steps will address tips on how to deal with these problems.

Basic Methods
Follow these basic methods, to avoid bigger problems, and for an iron to survive as long as it should.
  • Every few days, wipe your iron with a solution of vinegar and salt in equal proportions, heated together, using an unsoiled cloth. This will prevent it from sticking or dragging on any kind of fabric. You may also add baking soda to this mixture so as to make it more effective.
  • For the steam vents, use a pipe cleaner or a cotton swab dipped in a mild detergent solution, and pass it through every steam vent on the surface. This will prevent any buildup of deposits left behind by hard water.
  • It is essential to remove any excess water in the reservoir after ironing, while the iron is hot, so as to prevent the occurrence of the above-mentioned problems. In such a case, the reservoir will remain dry and the mineral deposits will not stay back and eventually rust.
  • Try to use distilled water to prevent the collection of minerals in the steam vents.
  • Maintain the exterior by wiping it with a damp cloth. You may use a mild soap to clean the exterior in case of resistant stains. This will prevent the collection of dirt and grime on the surface, that may get transferred on to the fabric while ironing.
Removing Burnt Fabric from the Base
In your hurry to work, you didn't check the setting, and in the process burnt your favorite outfit! You luckily found an alternative, but when you returned to iron your clothes for the next day, you had an ugly piece of fabric stuck to your iron. This is how you can clean it:
  1. While the iron is still hot, unplug it and put a wet sponge on the affected area immediately. The fabric will peel off because of the sudden change of temperature.
  2. To remove the remainder, use a mild scouring pad, as a harsh one will scratch the base. If it proves ineffective, use a little baking soda with water sprinkled on the surface, and rub it with a sponge.
This is a quick and effective method. This will not only help peel off the burnt fabric, but will also remove any oily or starchy deposits that have collected at the bottom. You will notice that the next time you iron your clothes, they will look crisper than before.

Cleaning an Iron that leaves Spots on Fabric
You're ironing your favorite white t-shirt and you notice it's developing small spots all over, much to your dismay. This may be because of the rust that has been collected inside the steam vents, or because of some dirt left behind on the surface. To solve this problem, you may follow these methods:
  1. Before beginning, ensure that the iron is cool. Prepare a soapy solution with a mild detergent, and using a cloth or sponge, wipe the surface. Follow it up by cleaning with cloth soaked in clean water. Using a scouring pad or a strong cleaning agent, will spoil the base. Try to avoid the use of the same.
  2. Fill the reservoir with equal parts of water and vinegar, up to the brim.
  3. Switch on the iron, on the steam setting and leave it on till the mixture evaporates.
  4. Repeat the same steps only with water, until the stench of vinegar has left the reservoir.
Allow your iron to prove its effectiveness by taking good care of it. These tips and tricks will definitely help you keep your iron, and your clothes, as good as new. So you needn't worry about buying a new iron every time you're faced with any of the aforementioned problems.